Saturday, August 22, 2015

SF&F To Romance or Not To Romance

Personally, I like romance in in my science fiction and fantasy. That's what I write, that's my favorite thing to read....I can also enjoy SF&F without romance. As someone said earlier in the week (I'm pretty sure) each story should contain what's right for it and the characters in the story. Someone else pointed out that if you’re going to write about emotional, messy human beings, you’re probably going to have romance and sex happening.

So my favorite science fiction movie is "Aliens" and forgive me if I privately do some 'shipping' of Hicks and Ripley because I wanted more romance between them...but I also really enjoyed the novel The Martian, no romance there. Just a guy stuck on Mars, trying to get home. And I loved it and yes, the author got it pretty darn right what it’s like to work at JPL too.

A SyFy TV series that I thought encapsulated both elements very well (romance/no romance) is Killjoys, which just completed its first ten-episode season (and I've got my fingers crossed for news of a second season so everyone who watches this wonderful program can continue to enjoy the adventures next year!). 

Coincidentally I just interviewed the creator and producer of the show, Michelle Lovretta (who also created Lost Girl) this week for my USA Today/HEA column.  Here’s how I introduced the interview:

Let me summarize the show briefly: The plot revolves around three space-going bounty hunters, featuring Dutch, the totally kickass woman who leads the team, and two brothers, John and D’avin. But that’s way too simplistic a summary, as the rich strands of family, friendship, history and duty bind these three complicated characters together over the season. I think I’m going to defer to Ms. Lovretta for the discussion of who these wonderful people are, and why they live and love the way they do. (There may be some mild spoilers for those who haven’t seen the previous episodes.)

Here’s what Ms. Lovretta had to say in part, first about the two characters, Dutch the heroine and John her teammate, who have a strictly platonic relationship, while being badass:

Honestly, I just really believe in the beauty and worth of deep platonic connections regardless of the genders involves, and putting them out there into the world is important to me.  I often see non-sexual relationships devalued and underrepresented both in media and in society, and I guess I’m reacting against that …..

Friendship is not always the waystation to Sex Town, dammit!  It’s a worthy destination of its own, and I hope we stay on course. 

And here’s a snippet of her discussion of the relationship between the two characters that are very attracted to each other and have had the full gamut of relations during the season:

In a strange way, Dutch and D’av are just getting to really know one another, now that they’ve experienced their worst fears together through their shared trauma (D’av fears he’ll always hurt the ones he loves; Dutch fears that Khlyen is right and she can’t get close to people without becoming weak). Hell, I’M just getting to know them, in terms of who they are in relationships.  That’s something D’avin can help show us about Dutch.…..

Is there a future for them, romantically?  I don’t know.  But I do know that they have affected one another deeply….

For the full interview and the complete text of Ms. Lovretta’s extensive discussion of worldbuilding and characters and emotions, you can go to USA Today Happily Ever After here.

Probably not a coincidence that she cites the movie Aliens as one of her major influences! It’s a small galaxy J

So have romance and sex if the story calls for it, don’t have romance and sex if the story doesn’t call for it…and if the story is good, I’ll be there to read it. Or watch it. Or both!

Veronica’s Note: D’av is John’s brother and Khylen is Dutch’s mysterious and menacing mentor from her previous life before becoming a bounty hunter.


  1. Oooooo! A new show to go binge watch! Thanks! :D

    1. My pleasure! I so hope they get a Season Two!